Shane Warne: Australia mourns ‘the greatest’ as PM Scott Morrison announces state funeral

Shane Watson, the former Australia all-rounder, also paid tribute to his “hero, mentor and great friend” Warne.

Watson tweeted: “I am numb!!! My hero, my mentor, my great friend, Shane Warne is no longer with us. Warnie, the impact you had on this great game and everyone around it is immeasurable. Thank you for being so bloody good to me. I am going to miss you so much. Rest In Peace SK.”

Ex-Australia batsman Mark Waugh said his old team-mate Warne was the “ultimate entertainer” both on and off the cricket field, while another former colleague, Jason Gillespie, was another left “devastated” by the news.

Waugh, who played 128 Tests and 244 ODIs for Australia between 1991 and 2002, wrote on Twitter: “This just unfathomable to lose another great of our cricket family. Warnie was the ultimate entertainer on and off the field, never a dull moment who lived life to the fullest. Deepest condolences to his loved ones. RIP mate.”

Former Australia batter and head coach Darren Lehmann described Warne as a “generous, fun-loving superstar”, while another ex-team-mate, Brett Lee, hailed him as the “rock star” of the game.

Former Australia quick Lee tweeted: “Can’t believe it. The greatest bowler to play the game ever ! The RockStar of cricket ! Gone too soon. RIP mate.”

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